Interview: Alison Locke (The Apology)

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Alison- Hi Janel, my mom’s name is Janel

Hi Alison, Oh, that’s awesome.

I loved this movie The Apology. The story, the characters, the descriptions. It’s just this heartbreaking yet bad ass, ass kicking movie.

Alison- Thank you so much.

How did this manifest for you? Was it from a personal experience?

Alison- It’s satisfying to hear how many journalists are getting how personal that film is, even in just sort of an instinctual level. It really is, it is luckily not personal where I have a missing child. I was always fascinated with True Crime stories, and I felt so much for these families and also, they became some of my heroes. These mothers that would keep fighting for their kids. I related to them because my daughter is Autistic and fighting for her every day, for years is exhausting and it can borderline on obsession for me. So, seeing these women and men too approach these awful things with such grace and tenacity. It was living in my subconscious, and then I had a dream about the knock at the front door. I woke up and started to write about it. I just want to know that I’ve done everything for my kid. I wanted to be respectful.

What was it like preparing the cast for such heavy material? This cast was amazing. Anna Gunn, Linus Roache, and Janeane Garolfolo were incredible.

Alison- A lot of what Linus Roache and I talked about was my mission for the movie. Part of my fascination was, how could you do it? I never want to other somebody as a person or as a writer. There was always a part of me that sort of felt defensive of him, which is sort of twisted but it’s also your duty. We were both really curious. He’s not a well man but how do you get to that point? I kept having conversations with my cast. It was better to work individually with them. I wanted to be open to their ideas.

I had a situation in my life that involved a kidnapping and this movie took me back to being in that fight or flight with PTSD. You truly went into this amazing psychological aspect and the fact that Darlene fought. She had a voice and I want to say thank you for that. My mom till this day says the not knowing what would have happened if she didn’t fight, she said it was horrific.

Alison- Oh, thank you. I’m so glad. That was a big driving force for me, and as women were taught to be so polite at all costs. That they know better than us, and that’s not true. There is so much violence against women, both physical and emotional. We have to be such fighters in our lives. I think mothers have to be fighters, and you have to honor that, especially being my daughter’s mom. I feel like I have to be her champion. I wanted that feeling of, she is leaving nothing to chance.

How did you find the location? The location was wild. And… what are you working on next?

Alison- Sure, the idea of being a stay-at-home mom is a very isolating experience, and being a special needs mom is another layer of isolation. It was important for me, and not just for the conventions of the genre to have her be isolated but also to represent that feeling that Darlene must have felt. She has different concerns, and she sees what the world can give you. It’s a different thing for the mom. We also shot a gorgeous house in Los Angeles. Going forward I want to make more and more movies from my unique female perspective. I would like to make a slasher/comedy, a haunted house film. I want to lead with compassion.

That sounds amazing. I’m so excited to see more of your films.

Alison- Thank you so much and thank you for sharing such a personal experience with me. That means a lot to filmmakers.

Thank you so much, Alison. You rock.

Alison- Thank you.

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